CIF-Southern Section to have open division for boys and girls basketball

The CIF-Southern Section just sent out a press releasing announcing its plan of open divisions for boys and girls basketball. It sounds good, putting the top teams in the second in one bracket. Hopefully, it allows teams who had no chance otherwise to compete for playoff glory. According to the release, the open division teams will not be announced until after the regular season.

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Star-News Super 23 Football Rankings: St. Francis off to best start since 1966 to lead the way

St. Francis is off to its best start since 1966. It can get even better this week with a win at Serra this week. (Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)

St. Francis is off to its best start since 1966. It can get even better this week with a win at Serra this week.
(Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)

1. St. Francis (8-0) –
The Knights 8-0 start not only puts the atop of the area rankings, but it also sets them up for solid run in the Western Division playoffs. St. Francis, 8-0 for the first time since 1966, is now in position to receive a top four seed, regardless of how it does its next two games against stalwarts Serra and Chaminade. A semifinal finish now looks possible. The other question is how it stacks up against Serra. We find out on Friday.
2. Monrovia (7-1) – Does anyone still think the Wildcats won’t repeat in the Rio Hondo League or Mid-Valley Division? One only has to look at their past three games, which has seen Monrovia outscore its first three league opponents, 177-0
3. Muir (7-1) – In most years, the Mustangs would be challenging for the top spot. Muir’s only loss was a respectable showing to Alemany, which is again showing the way in the Serra League. The Mustangs have hardly been challenged in the Pacific League, but should be challenged against Crescenta Valley this week.
4. Rio Hondo Prep (7-1) – The Kares have won six consecutive games since a week 1 loss to Northeast No. 1 Mission Prep. They are on the road to a repeat, but first have some business with Pasadena Poly in a match that decides the Prep League on Saturday.
5. San Marino (7-1) — The Titans have kept pace with the rest, averaging 50 points a game, including hanging 72 on Blair last week. They should have an easy time agaisnt Temple City this week before a week 10 showdown vs. Monrovia.
6. La Salle (6-2) – The Del Rey League is the Lancers for the taking after holding on to beat Bishop Montgomery last week. But the real test for La Salle is the playoffs in the coming weeks.
7. Pasadena Poly (7-0) – The Panthers have handled all challengers until now. But Rio Hondo Prep is a different type of animal. Even with a loss, this is a team other Northeast foes won’t like facing.
8. Rosemead (7-1) – It’s one to go for the Panthers, who face Gabrielino this week. Win, and they play Arroyo for the Mission Valley League title, just like the old days.
9. Maranatha (6-2) — The Minutemen have a resurgence under first-year coach Jude Oliva. Now comes the big test, first hosting Whittier Christian this week before traveling to Cerritos Valley Christian in Week 10. Win both, and Maranatha wins the Olympic League.
10. Gabrielino (6-2) — The Eagles have all but played their way into a playoff spot, needing a win in either of their final two games — this week against Rosemead or next vs. last-place El Monte
The Rest: 11. Arcadia (5-3), 12. Duarte (4-4), 13. Temple City (3-5), 14. South Pasadena (3-4), 15. La Canada (3-5), 16. San Gabriel (2-6), 17. Pasadena (1-7), 18. Marshall (2-6), 19. Flintridge Prep (1-7), 20. Alhambra (1-7), 21. Keppel (1-7), 22. Bosco Tech (0-8), 23. Blair (0-8).

STAT LEADERS (As reported to
Passing (Comp-Atts-Yards-TDs)

1. Eli Snyder, Maranatha, 146-237-2,186-16
2. Tyler Gangi, St. Francis, 93-175-1,543-18
3. Elijah Peters, Gabrielino, 94-177-1,408-13
4. Joey Harmon, Arcadia, 91-157-1,158-6
5. Johnny Bolinger, Rio Hondo Prep, 50-85-991-15
6. Will Pyburn, La Salle, 56-108-967-12
7. Michael Bowman, Pasadena Poly, 56-88-943-15
8. Steven Nava, Rosemead, 53-90-803-11
9. Andrew Ferraco, San Marino, 39-68-733-11
10. Nick Giambalvo, Alhambra, 64-149-641-7
Others: Dejon Williams, Muir, 34-51-577-6
Deshawn Potts, Monrovia, 31-61-511-5
Rushing (Atts-Yards-TDs)
1. Kurt Scoby, Monrovia, 112-1,317-19
2. Stefan Smith, Flintridge Prep, 127-1,134-13
3. Joe Mudie, St. Francis, 106-987-9
4. Andrew Ferraco, San Marino, 117-973-18
5. Nate Tayco, Rio Hondo Prep, 124-915-17
6. Alec Zavala, Rosemead, 112-874-8
7. Griffin Carter, Pasadena Poly, 67-840-13
8. Baile McDavid, Maranatha, 88-738-8
9. Tenny McFarlane, San Marino, 88-728-7
10. Milan Acquaah, La Salle, 73-610-8
Others: Patrick Lopez, Rosemead, 82-530-6
Areg Nazarian, St. Francis, 62-528-4
Receiving (Rec.-Yards-TDs)
1. Darron McWhorter, Maranatha, 43-701-6
2. Xavius Boone, Maranatha, 45-684-5
3. Dylan Crawford, St. Francis, 27-558-7
4. Jared Akins, La Salle, 20-509-6
5. Mark Pachorek, Arcadia, 29-437-1
6. John Carroll, St. Francis, 28-415-6
7. Joe Mudie, St. Francis, 25-414-4
8. JP Shohfi, San Marino, 15-375-5
9. Oscar Noriega, Rosemead, 21-369-3
10. Jeremy Franco, Gabrielino, 19-367-5
Others: Christopher Montoya, Gabrielino, 25-352-2
Luis Luna, Rosemead, 18-349-5
Tyler Spitzer, San Marino, 21-346-7

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Star-News Pick’em: Sorry St. Francis, Serra looks too much like the New York Giants, the good version of the G-men…But Muir and Maranatha should come through in first-place matchups


Keith and I are matching our knowledge of the area and high school football by offering our picks on the area’s games.

LAIR: 131-20 (14-2 last week)
RAMIREZ: 129-22 (15-1 last week)

St. Francis and coach Jim Bonds has a tough task this week against Serra (Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)

St. Francis and coach Jim Bonds has a tough task this week against Serra
(Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)

Last week: I scored another solid week, picking 15 of 16 winners, but Keith Lair was a solid as well, going 14-2, allowing me to pick up just one game on him in this friendly battle. His mistake was going with Keppel, which lost a 13-12 to San Gabriel. We both missed on Temple City’s win over South Pasadena.
This week: St. Francis is having its best season in nearly 50 years, but the task this week looks too much to overcome when they travel to Gardena to face Serra, arguably one of the top teams in the state that destroyed South Region Division III No. 2 Chaminade two weeks ago. I’d like to go with the Knights, who have looked Golden. But the Cavaliers look more like the New York Giants than a high school football team. I’m sure Jim Bonds and company can keep it close — it was last season for a half — but they have too much firepower to overcome. Other key matchups this week feature Muir vs. Crescenta Valley in a battle for first in the Pacific League, and Maranatha hosting Whittier Christian, which might settle the Olympic League. CV’s offense is a difficult task for the Mustangs, but Muir’s should win a shootout to claim the crown. I also like Maranatha, which has been clicking lately under new coach Jude Oliva. On Saturday, Rio Hondo Prep visits Pasadena Poly for first in the Prep League. Poly has yet to lose, but that changes Saturday.


This week’s schedule and predictions

St. Francis at Serra — Ramirez (Serra); Lair (Serra)
Whittier Christian at Maranatha — Ramirez (Maranatha); Lair (Maranatha)
Crescenta Valley vs. Muir at Glendale HS — Ramirez (Muir); Lair (Muir)
La Salle at Cantwell-Sacred Heart — Ramirez (La Salle); Lair (La Salle)
Rosemead at Gabrielino — Ramirez (Rosemead); Lair (Rosemead)
Duarte at Bassett — Ramirez (Bassett); Lair (Bassett)
Burroughs at Arcadia — Ramirez (Burroughs); Lair (Burroughs)
Blair at Monrovia — Ramirez (Monrovia); Lair (Monrovia)
La Canada at South Pasadena — Ramirez (South Pasadena); Lair (South Pasadena)
Temple City at San Marino — Ramirez (San Marino); Lair (San Marino)
Glendale at Pasadena — Ramirez (Glendale); Lair (Glendale)
Alhambra at Montebello — Ramirez (Montebello); Lair (Montebello)
San Gabriel at Bell Gardens — Ramirez (Bell Gardens); Lair (Bell Gardens)
Schurr at Keppel — Ramirez (Schurr); Lair (Schurr)
Bosco Tech vs. Mary Star of the Sea at Daniels Field (San Pedro) — Ramirez (Mary Star); Lair (Mary Star)
Flintridge Prep at Hawkins (Los Angeles) — Ramirez (Flintridge Prep); Lair (Flintridge Prep)
Rio Hondo Prep at Pasadena Poly, 3 p.m. — Ramirez (Rio Hondo Prep); Lair (Rio Hondo Prep)
Brentwood vs. Marshall at Pasadena HS, 1 p.m. — Ramirez (Brentwood); Lair (Brentwood)

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Friday Night Final: La Salle holds off B-Monty; St. Francis routs H-Westlake to be 8-0 for the first time since 1966; Muir moves a step closer to Pacific crown

Friday was all about taking care of business, and St. Francis, Muir and La Salle all did their part. For the Golden Knights and Mustangs, it sets up huge games next week for a chance at their respective league titles.
St. Francis will be at state-power Serra in arguably the game of the year, while Muir can all bu wrap up its second consecutive Pacific League title by beating second-place Crescenta Valley at Glenalde.
For the Lancers, it puts them one game away from clinching a share of their second consecutive Del Rey League crown, which they can get with a win at Cantwell.
But coach Russell Martin was a little displeased with his special teams, who made two crucial mistakes that allowed Bishop Montgomery to nearly rally back from two 17-point deficits before losing, 31-28.
La Salle coach Russell Gordon: ‘Our special teams played below average tonight. I’m not happy with that, or satisfied. We just have to get back to work, get ready for Cantwell, and we have (to win) two more games before we can repeat.”
La Salle quarterback Will Pyburn (who accounted for 124 yards and two TDs): “We started real strong. We had some turnovers that killed us. I’m glad we got the win. I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty.”

La Salle's Milan Acquaah rushed for some of his 99 yards during the Lancers' 31-28 win over Bishop Montgomery (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

La Salle’s Milan Acquaah rushed for some of his 99 yards during the Lancers’ 31-28 win over Bishop Montgomery
(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

1. St. Francis (8-0) def. Harvard-Westlake, 44-14 — The Golden Knights are to their best start since LBJ was president. They did it with the usual suspects as Joe Mudie rushed for 220 yards and two TDs, and QB Ty Gangi threw for 134 yards and two scores. St. Francis now preps for a titanic match at Serra, which is also 8-0 and ranked No. 1 Southern California D-II by Cal-Hi Sports.
2. Monrovia (7-1) def. La Canada, 77-0, on Thursday — The Wildcats have opened Rio Hondo League play by outscoring the opposition, 177-0, in three games.
3. Muir (7-1) def. No. 9 Arcadia, 48-7 — Dejon Williams threw for 172 yards and two TDs as the Mustangs set up a battle for first with Crescenta Valley, which beat Hoover, next week. The Mustangs clinch a share of the Pacific League crown with a victory.
4. Rio Hondo Prep (6-1), at Firebaugh today — The Kares are a solid favorite vs. Firebaugh, with a win setting up a title bout at Pasadena Poly next week.
5. San Marino (7-1) def. Blair, 72-0, on Thursday — The Titans scored in the 70s for the second this season and scored at least 60 points for the fourth time. When do they face Monrovia? In two weeks, my friends.
6. La Salle (6-2) def. Bishop Montgomery, 31-28 — Will Pyburn accounted for 124 yards and and two TDs and Bryce Harvey and Milan Acquaah rushed for 100 and 99 yards, respectively moved a step closer for a second consecutive league title, but it was a lot closer than it needed to be, thanks in part to a pair of special teams’ mistakes.
7. Pasadena Poly (6-0) at Chadwick on Saturday — The Panthers can set up a showdown with Rio Hondo Prep with a win.
8. Rosemead (7-1) def. El Monte, 45-0 — Matt Koffler shows he still has it as the Panthers win the their seventh consecutive game. The win puts them on course for that title showdown vs. Arroyo in two weeks. But first they’ll have to deal with Gabrielino, which routed South El Monte.
10. Maranatha, idle — The Minutemen took the week off, but will host Whittier Christian next week with title hopes on the line.
Schurr 47, Alhambra 0 — The Moors comeback to earth after beating Keppel last week
Burroughs 38, Pasadena 0 — Another rough outing for the Bulldogs
Duarte 20, Sierra Vista 15 — A big victory for the Falcons, who keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They’ll need to beat Bassett next week.
Temple City 48, South Pasadena 13 — A big victory for the Rams, who have the inside track for a playoff spot
Paraclete 62, Marshall 7 — Paraclete looks the read deal again

ROUNDUP: Muir special teams defense comes up big

Pasadena Poly at Chadwick, 3 p.m. — Ramirez (Poly); Lair (Poly)
Webb vs. Flintridge Prep at La Canada HS — Ramirez (Flintridge Prep): Lair (Flintridge)
Firebaugh vs. Rio Hondo Prep at Lynwood HS — Ramirez (Rio Hondo Prep); Lair (Rio Hondo)

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